Thursday, October 17, 2013

Momma Babble V005

So, it's been a while since I shared out how motherhood is treating me. Last time I checked in, I was about to go back to work. Well, I've been back to work for 9 weeks now. Part of me was very ready for some routine in my life and was really looking forward to being back in the classroom. A bigger part of me was struggling with the concept of going from spending every waking (and non-waking - LOL) hour with my baby boy, to having about a solid 2 hours of "awake" quality time with him each day. He's always so happy when he wakes up in the mornings, even when it's 5am. It pains me to have to load him up in the car and take him to someone else for the day, when I know that there's going to be tons of smiles and giggles to be experienced. When I pick him up in the evenings and bring him home, it's the end of his day and he's tired. He tends to be a little more fussy and temperamental in the evening. It's hard knowing someone else is getting "the best part of his day."
I knew it was going to be hard... and I was hoping it would get easier. BUT IT HASN'T! In fact, the more interactive he becomes, the harder it is to walk out the door and leave him in the mornings. There's a lot of stress and pressure at work, and I often find myself daydreaming of being home with my baby. Thankfully, I get multiple text and picture updates throughout the day... so that helps! But I really just miss being with my baby. Such a struggle! I know I'm doing the right thing by working to provide a nice life FOR my baby... just hate the sacrifices that have to be made in doing so. I live for my weekends so I can spend my entire day with J.
Another "struggle" that I faced since going back to work was realizing I was going to have to start supplementing with formula much sooner than I originally hoped. My goal was to breastfeed exclusively until Jesse was 6 months, and over the summer I had stock piled a couple hundred ounces of frozen milk. I quickly found when I started back to work that I was producing about HALF as much as Jesse was taking in bottles while I was away. I would pump anywhere from 8 - 12, sometimes 14 ounces and he would consistently take closer to 18-22 ounces while I was at work. The frozen stash began to deplete tremendously... and (sorry for TMI), but my menstrual cycle decided to return at 10 weeks postpartum, and during those weeks each month, my supply tanks BIG TIME. Needless to say, the frozen stash dwindled away to the point that I knew we were going to have to start supplementing with formula sooner than I wanted.
I tried my hardest to keep up with Jesse's intake... I was pumping on the way to work, 2-3 times during the school day in a storage room, on the way to get Jesse after work, while I was nursing Jesse in the evenings... and I would even set my alarm and get up through the night to pump. I was basically killing myself, trying to keep up with him. And then I realized that my sanity is important... and that formula IS NOT the devil... and that it would be okay to supplement when I needed to. So, now that I'm supplementing, I just pump during the school day and have around 8 ounces at the end of the day for his next day's bottles. The rest I make in formula for while I'm gone. He has done wonderfully with taking the formula, and he continues to nurse when we are at home. The only setback we've had with the formula (and it may be completely unrelated) is that he had a little bit of eczema that has gotten worse in the last few weeks that he's been having some formula in his diet. Maybe it's related, maybe it's not - hoping to get some answers tomorrow at the doctor's office.
So how am I doing? I'm staying afloat. Barely getting by at work, which is difficult for me to swallow. Last year, it would be nothing for me to stay and work in my classroom till 5 or so... now, I want to get outta dodge as soon as I can after school so I can have more time with my baby. I know I'm not putting forth my personal best, but I honestly just don't have the time (or energy, most days) to keep up with it all. There are lots of new programs and initiatives this year and I'm trying to learn them all, but it's challenging. I don't feel like I'm being a great teacher, and because of the amount of work I have to do at home, I don't feel like I'm being a good mom. It's to the point where I won't even work on school work in the evenings because I REFUSE to sit my baby off by himself to play or watch TV for the sake of doing work... I just can't sacrifice anymore of my time with him, especially during these young years... he'll never be little again and he's growing up so fast! So that means staying up until ungodly hours to get it all done after he goes to bed. ...To then wake up and have no energy to do it all over again the next morning.
Everyone tells me that this is something all new moms go though; trying to balance it all. Honestly, I think I'd still be pretty stressed if the baby wasn't in the equation because of all the pressure at work. I was hoping by now, mid-October, that I'd have a grip on things and would have some systems in place that work. But I'm not quite there yet.
Just staying afloat. Hanging on.
It can only get better... right?

Sunday, October 6, 2013

5 Months Old

On October 1st, Jesiah turned five months old!
Hard to believe that only five months ago, we were bringing this sweet bundle of joy home from the hospital. Each month he grows more and more, constantly changing. It's such a neat experience to watch his personality emerge as he explores the world around him.
Jesse, you are a growing boy! I haven't weighed you since your 4 month doctor's appointment, but I'm guessing you're right around the 17 pound mark. You are long and lean, solid muscle! You amaze us with how strong you are. If we let you stand up on our lap, you will push and pull yourself around using your arms and legs... putting yourself in some really funny positions. I call you my little monkey because of the way you will "hang" onto me.
You are definitely your Daddy's boy! Your Daddy is a very busy man, but he loves to spend time with you whenever he can. You get pretty excited when you hang out with your dad. Daddy likes to tickle you, toss you into the air to make you giggle, and rock you. You have special time together in the mornings before Daddy leaves for work (it's super early... the sun isn't even up yet and Daddy will have you giggling away as Mommy gets ready for work herself).
Everyone loves to talk about how much you look like Daddy. I can definitely see the "Caudill" in you, too. For fun, we dressed you in Daddy's easter outfit when he was YOUR age and we took some pictures. It's pretty undeniable that you look a whole lot like your father!
As much as you look like Daddy, I can see some "Singhas" in you, too. You have mommy's almond-shaped eyes, the trademark Singhas eyebrows, and mommy's heart-shaped face! :-)
You love, love, LOVE your Sophie the Giraffe. You could chew and suck on her all day long. You are a slobbery mess these days! Breaking out the bibs here lately to help with the slobber situation.
Still lovin' to chew on those fingers, too! No teeth have popped through yet, though.
You love to "read" books - a boy after my own heart. You look at the pictures on the pages and then try to turn the pages yourself. You especially love to read books with your Nan.
You are your Poppy are quite the pair. I have a feeling you're going to be left-handed like Poppy! Whenever Mommy holds an object in front of you, you almost always reach for it with your left hand. Poppy makes you smile and giggle, too, with his funny voices.
You love spending time with your Grandma and Pappy, too! Grandma takes you for walks in the stroller, which you love. There's no doubt, you're a very loved little guy!
Your sleep schedule is still a work-in-progress. I remember writing in your two-month update about how you were sleeping through the night and how wonderful it was. TRULY, it was wonderful - didn't realize how much so until we started having nights like these:
You are waking up a minimum of two-three times each night. Mommy loves rocking you and nursing you back to sleep when you wake up. Sometimes you end up in bed with Mommy so she can nurse you AND get some sleep... because sometimes that's the only way to survive those nights that you want to wake up every hour or every other hour. We haven't started any solids with you yet because your doctor recommended that we wait until 6 months, but I'm beginning to wonder if maybe some cereal before bedtime might help you to sleep better? But honestly, I don't think you are waking up because you're hungry - you nurse for about 2 minutes (if that!) and then go back to sleep. I tried a pacifier to see if that would help you go back to sleep, but that just wouldn't do ;-)  I guess for now, we just need to hang in there and hope that your sleep habits get better over the next couple of weeks!
During the day, you are getting into a bit of a routine with naps (FINALLY!). You nap approx. 45 minutes in the morning, and then around 2:00 you take a nap that can last anywhere from an hour to two, or more. As I write this, you are down for an afternoon nap. You've been asleep the last 2 hours and 15 minutes! I've noticed that when you have a good afternoon nap, you sleep better at night. When you don't get that good stretch of naptime in the afternoon, your sleep at night is more erratic.
About a week into your fifth month, Mommy started giving you some formula each day. You now get anywhere from 8-12oz of breast milk while Mommy is away, and then about 8-12 oz of formula. When we are home, you are still exclusively breastfed. You have done great with taking the formula. At first, I was mixing the breast milk and formula together, but we found that you enjoy it much more when they are kept separate.
You are wearing a size 3 diaper. During the day, you can comfortably wear a 6 month onesie/body suit. You are wearing 6-9 month pants (for length), and you wear 6-9 month or 9 month sleepers at bedtime.
 You enjoy bouncing in your bouncer and playing on your play mat. You play with your toys and can entertain yourself for about 10 minutes. Then, you usually get tired and are ready for a new activity... unless Elmo is on t.v. ;-) If Elmo is on, your eyes are glued to the tv!
Love these legs!!!
You're getting so, so big and you're really taking in everything around you. You're curious about how things work, and you're very watchful. You're noticing animals more and more, and you like to watch BoBo (Nan & Poppy's dog) and our kitty whenever they are near you. I think it's only a matter of time before you are on the floor, taking off after those animals! :-)
You absolutely LOVE bath time! We put you in a little chair in the tub to give you your bath and get you cleaned up. Once the cleaning and hair washing is over, you can't wait to get out of that chair and splash around in the water, free-style. Momma has to hold onto you realllly good because you are a little fish! You LOVE being on your belly in the tub. Mommy puts you over her arm and you happily hold your head up and kick your legs like crazy. I have a feeling you're going to be quite the little fishy in the pool next summer! You also like to eat handfuls of bubbles. :-)
Jesiah Blaine, we love you so so so much! You're such a blessing to your Daddy and me. We thank God for the precious little boy that you are. Can't wait to see what new adventures the next month brings for us!


Love you, sweet baby boy.